Got a great product or service but don’t seem to have the traction in your market? This is likely because there isn’t enough brand awareness for your business.
Think of big names like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. They’re so well known that they have dedicated fan sites that will cover just about every piece of information about the companies. When they release a product you’ll know it because you’ll see it everywhere. While your business is not one of these, and likely will never be, you can pull some of their techniques into your branding plan. Of course, the biggest obstacle for between what a huge brand can do compared to a small or medium sized business is budget… but don’t let that get you down.
Even with a small budget you can take advantage of various methods of building brand awareness – Here are a few to get started.
T-Shirts (and Apparel)
T-shirts and other pieces of apparel (and even little things like mouse pads, calendars, and pens) that are branded become a great way to spread the word. They’re inexpensive when you order in bulk and if you can get them to the right individuals you can easily start the process of brand recognition.
Just take a look at Jason SurfrApp who built a business around wearing t-shirts. He provides a service which, in this case, he wears a t-shirt from a company and then he goes out there on his social platforms doing his thing. The brand on the t-shirt gets exposed to thousands of individuals.
If you wanted to do this you could order up a dozen or so t-shirts and send them off to your customers. From there get them to take a pic and share it on your social feed (and turn it into some content for the business blog). Their friends, family, and followers get to see the brand and that might start conversations which could start word-of-mouth referrals for your business!
Put It on a Box
Why do we get giddy when we see the familiar logo of Amazon on the box? Because we immediately know what we ordered came in (as opposed to questioning what’s in the box). Amazon does this because it’s part of the buyer experience. There is branding from the time you hit the site to the time you receive your package.
You, too, can produce this experience.
Seek corrugated boxes from suppliers such as PackNBoxNow.com which gives you tons of options for customizing your boxes. You could go with ones which match the design of your product to give it a unique look as it arrives. You could slap on your logo. This is a very inexpensive option for building brand awareness especially since you’ll need these items to operate anyway.
A Contest is in Order
Contests are probably the easiest way to build brand awareness online.
There are many different types of online tools for running a contest. These are all inexpensive compared to traditional marketing strategies such as mass mailings or buying ad spots in the newspaper.
You have a lot of flexibility when using one of these tools (which often automates the process making it easier for you to run the contest). You could:
- Offer one of your products or services
- Require people to share it on their social feeds
- Get bloggers involved by promoting the contest
- Collect the emails so you can send updates at a later time
Ideally you’ll want to go with an offer that’s either your own or related to your business. Gone are the days of offering up an iPad if it has no context to what you do. What you want are entries from people that are likely to buy from your business – not just freebie hunters. Play it right and you could see your contest catch on like a wild fire thus spreading your brand and building that awareness.
To conclude: do know you have options. A combination of using the Web and real-world strategies will get your brand out there. It may take some time but if you make it part of your process you should have no problem introducing your brand to the market. Once it catches just keep doing what you’re doing. There will be a nice payoff in the end.
Featured image credit: Lightbulb and Brand Awareness/ShutterStock